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August 14, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts |
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Black Hands: A Family Mass Murder

Help… They’re all dead…

This is the haunting sentence from the 111 call made by David Bain on the morning of June 20, 1994, and is the opening line to each episode of the new ten-part Stuff and Tandem Studios podcast series, Black Hands: A Family Mass Murder.

Written and narrated by journalist Martin van Beynen, Black Hands is an in-depth analysis of the Bain family murder case that has divided the nation for over two decades, and once again tries to answer the ultimate question — who did it?

The series is broken up into two parts. The first five episodes discuss the events that lead up to the crime and provide a look into the Bain family’s life; the final five episodes discuss the scientific and circumstantial evidence of the case.

One of the strengths of the series is its high production value, as the narration is broken up with sound-bites taken from police interrogations, witness interviews, news clips, and testimony from the two trials that round out van Beynen’s solo-narration.

Another strength is that van Beynen remains relatively neutral throughout the series, and looks into how the evidence points to David as the killer, but also how it can point to Robin. He only reveals his own opinion in the final episode, which makes you want to listen all the way through.

The most interesting and compelling episodes are #5 “Incest, Blackmail, Murder”, and #8 “The Suicide Puzzle”, as van Beynen delves deep into the incest and suicide theories that make the case so fascinating.

I’m not normally a fan of narrative-style podcasts, but the series is absolutely engrossing and addictive. The level of research is an impressive feat, and van Beynen’s passion to find out the truth is apparent. You finish an episode feeling confused about what you thought you believed, but being unable to resist listening to the next one to hear what happens next.  

This podcast series is not just for those interested in true crime (hey fellow murderinos!), but all New Zealanders curious about this enthralling and tragic moment of New Zealand’s history.  

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